BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Just a few miles south of the parish line, Istrouma Brewing at Sugar Farms in St. Gabriel is crafting a unique experience for locals and beer connoisseurs.
“This place — a lot of people use the word authentic, and I think that’s who we are — my wife and I,” said owner of Istrouma Brewing, John Haynes.
Haynes, and his wife Joanna, opened Istrouma Brewing in October 2020. What followed was a farmhouse-style brewery, known as a hub for happiness. Istrouma Brewery also hosts various special events, such as drive-in movies and a weekly family night.
“My wife and I have basically spent most of our marriage, and previous, working and being creatives,” said Haynes. “I was a painter, and she was marketing. We traveled to galleries around the country, making a living as an artist. We saved up enough money as artists to then do our first film, which led to a career in film and television.”
Family night has become a staple in the community. Kids can take part in a cuddle station, where they meet the beloved pony, Peaches.
“Growing up, a part of our family weekend was going to Maw maw and Pawpaw’s to hang out and days were spent napping on the porch and seeing animals. We just wanted to kind of bring all of those creative things to a farm,” said Haynes.
Istrouma Brewery welcomes well-behaved personal pets, giving guests the chance to enjoy a pint with their pup.
Customers are also encouraged to roam freely and enjoy the various upcycled antiques throughout the farmhouse. This includes a beer wall that extends from the front end of a 1951 Ford F100.
“I’m a history geek and all of these pieces tell a story, you know. Who drove that car? Who sat in that chair? Who played that piano?”
An LSU sports memorabilia wall is dedicated to a film narrated by John Goodman and produced by Haynes himself.
“We just love telling stories, whether it’s someone else’s story, whether it’s a food story, whether it’s an art story,” said Haynes.